Interview with Creative Director Andy Golpys

Andy Golpys is the co-founder and Creative Director with ‘Made By Shape‘ he holds over 10 years experience in the design industry. We sat down to discuss the studio, his motivations, Manchester’s design scene, his goals for 2015 & more.

[Tweet “I’m motivated daily to be better in everything.”]


What motivated you to start up the ‘Made by Shape’ studio?

I worked for a few different large scale digital agencies when I was younger and although they were producing fantastic work, I didn’t really like the workflow. I soon discovered that I wanted to be more part of the project in terms of dealing with the client, and I also wanted to stretch my individual abilities in terms of business. Producing design work is one thing, but finding clients on a regular basis is a completely different scenario, and this is something I embraced and strived for at an early age.

What motivates you in the business today? Do you enjoy working as a bigger team?

Although we are not the biggest agency, I am very proud to see us grow in terms of clientele and team members. We now have 6 people here at Shape, soon to be 7 and to see where we are now since we setup is fantastic. I’m motivated daily to be better in everything, but with keeping the same ethos we have always had… which is to produce quality work, 100% of the time.

Where do you see your expansion in staff heading in the future? More freelancers?

We are taking on another team member this month, and I expect us to grow to 8 team members sometime this year. We regularly use illustrators and photographers freelance, so if anybody reading this is interested in working with us, drop us an email.


Do you enjoy working in Manchester? Are there any groups/events you enjoy taking part in?

BLAB, setup by Matt Booth is always a good event to go too. They are always inspirational, and it’s good to meet other creatives whilst having a pint or 3. 6 months after Shape was born we decided to move outside of Manchester city centre because of normal life situations like car parks, traffic etc. So now our studio is based in Atherton, closer to home but has great links to Trains, Motorways etc. We have clients all over the world so being in Manchester City Centre isn’t mandatory for us. Although we are very proud to be a northern agency.

Do you think agencies (& creatives) are more motivated to dispell stereotypes in the north? Why would you say you’re proud of being in the north?

I don’t want to be stereotypical myself, or controversial, so I’ll just discuss my own experiences. I think from working with a lot of agencies and clients in London and down South, they always seem to comment on how friendly, approachable and humorous we are here in the studio. I’m not sure whether that’s because we’re northern or whether it’s a lifestyle, a friendly way of living, or whether it’s just a personality thing, but it is definitely something a lot of people comment on. I’m a proud Northerner for many reasons but one obvious in terms of the industry is that I feel sometimes us agencies up North don’t receive the appreciation we deserve in some cases for the quality of work we produce, and most of the time – much cheaper than agencies down South.


Do you have any ambitions to give back to students or talk at creative conferences yourself?

I am already a University Lecturer at the University of Salford, I’ve been doing that since I was 21. So I’ve been giving back in terms of advice, knowledge and experiences for 7 years now. I have also provided work experience placements at Shape to various students, and also hired 3 full-time designers from Salford Uni. So yes, I love to offer something back to the University that once taught me everything I know.

What projects have you been most proud of since starting the company?

We worked on a very creative (and technical) project for Blackberry in our 2nd year which was decent.

Do you feel a different kind of pressure working with more international clients such as Blackberry?

Not in terms of design, but yes in terms of testing and de-bugging. Because the audience is much bigger, so more people will be viewing it, and there will be a lot more critics who try to find fault in anything that’s a national / international campaign.

What are you goals for 2015 with MBS?

We will be looking to collaborate more with other design studios and digital agencies. Over the past 2 years we have built up relationships with other studios and produced work for them in a white label format. So they would either outsource a project to us on the whole, or they would produce the design and we code the website. This is something we’d like to build up in 2015 and work with more agencies.

Who are your favourite people to follow on Twitter & Instagram?

I follow a lot of designers and people who are in my industry, but I like to get inspiration from other industries and aspects of life. So I like my feeds to be different and not just full of websites, therefore I like social media accounts like @cerealmag.

How do you most enjoy to unwind and relax in the evenings and weekends?

I love a good bath, but I can’t even remember the last time I had one ‘cos I’m that busy. I do try and make the effort to play football once a week to let off some steam. The simple things in life can never be over appreciated, like spending time with my family and having an ice cold beer with friends.



Website | @madebyshape